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Constructing a Fence

Thinking of constructing a fence on your property? Before you start, here is a guide to help you through the project.

Planning Your Project

Before you begin, contact Service Barrie at 705-739-4242 or to:

  • Ensure your project complies with Zoning By-law section set-backs and lot coverage, and to determine where your front yard begins.
  • Learn if you require a permit from a local conservation authority.

Call Before You Dig! Always contact Ontario One Call before you dig, even if it’s just with a shovel, to locate any underground cables or lines below the surface.

Zoning By-law Standards

Location Minimum Distance from Lot Line* Maximum Height**
Front yard 0.3m (1ft) 1m (3.2ft)
Interior side yard No requirement 2m (6.5ft)
Exterior side yard (corner lot) 0.3m (1ft) 2m (6.5ft)
Rear yard No requirement 2m (6.5ft)
Rear yard, corner lot 0.3m (1ft) 2m (6.5ft)
* 0.30m (1ft) setback required from all lot-lines abutting a street; ** Fence height is measured from the top of the fence, excluding posts, to the average grade height for a section of fence


  • In new subdivisions, fence installation cannot begin until all grading and sodding is complete on adjacent lots and has been certified by the developer's engineer. Please check with your builder prior to starting this project.
  • Any fence of 2m (6.5ft) is considered an accessory structure and subject to the regulations set out in Zoning By-law section 5.3.5, which are the same as detached garages and sheds).
  • Fences should not interfere with drainage swales along property lines.
  • The fence can be any type or style (excluding electric or barbed wire) with no restriction which way the ‘good side’ faces.
  • Disputes between neighbouring properties regarding the construction of a fence or related to cost sharing is a civil matter.
  • All corner lots shall provide a sight triangle consisting of an unobstructed triangular area where the front lot line and the exterior side lot line intersect. If your property is a corner lot, be sure plans comply with sight triangle Zoning By-law standards:
    Location Minimum Distance from Lot Line
    Arterial or Collector Roads 5m (16.4ft) x 5m (16.4ft)
    Local Roads 3m (9.8ft) x 3m (9.8ft)
    Arterial or Collector Road abutting Local Road 5m (16.4ft) x 3m (9.8ft)
    Sight triangles shall be measured from the point of intersection of the lot lines. Planting is not permitted in the area of a sight triangle as plants can grow to become sight barriers.

Completing Your Project

Permits: Apply for a building permit prior to starting any work. When the permit is issued, construction can commence. This project requires:        

  • Pool Fence Permit on a property with a pool, hot tub or spa.
  • No permits on properties without a pool, hot tub and/or spa.

Inspections: Below are the commonly required inspectionsbased on permit type. There may be additional inspections required on a case-by-case basis. Visit the Building Inspections​ webpage for more information.

Inspection Required When to Call
Pool fence inspection When pool is enclosed by a fence in accordance with the Pool Enclosure By-law. Above ground pool with sides 48” above grade that aren’t climbable and have a removable/lockable ladder may be used as the pool enclosure. See the Pool Enclosure By-law

Disclaimer: The information on this page is meant for guiding purposes only. Individual home renovation projects vary in scope and may require additional steps to ensure proper completion. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure work conforms to any restrictive covenants, caveats or other restrictions that are registered on the land title. The information above has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Barrie accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically.

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